A lot of women suffering from reproductive health issues such as PCOS also suffer from an excess sex hormones (most likely androgen or estrogen). These hormones are messengers that allow our reproductive health to function properly. You are probably thinking what does this have anything to do with our liver?
One thing that I love and admire about the human body is that everything is connected. As much as I respect modern day medicine, I despised the fact that they often choose to ignore this reality: when one part of our body is out of balance everything else is affected. Imbalance in your hormones is no different, if you are a woman suffering from excess of any hormones, a good holistic therapist should immediately address your liver .
Looking into the liver
The liver is the second largest organ in our bodies. Although it has more than 200 functions, one of the liver’s main function is to detoxify our blood. It removes harmful substances such as drugs and alcohol; as well as substances that are no longer needed like certain hormones and more. An excess of hormones may indicate a dysfunctional liver. Of course a dysfunctional liver should not be the only factor to address when dealing with an imbalanced endocrine system; but it definitely should be addressed.
So what we want to do is eat foods and consume herbs that help support our liver in its daily function. Thus I dropped a list of foods and herbs that can help your liver get back in action. I personally think that these foods should be consume on the regular basis, but the herbs mention below can be added to a cleanse regiment.
Herbs + Nutrients list
Taraxacum (Dandelion): as mention in a previous article “5 Herbs To Help Balance Your Reproductive System” Dandelion is a stable herb in any serious herbalist, herbal collection. The herb’s main ingredient Taraxasterol which serves to protect our liver. Dandelion is a very bitter herb but what you will get to learn as you evolve in your self-care journey is that: wither it be with life, nutrition or botanical medicine the bitters are the most therapeutic agents.
Silybum Marianum (Milk thistle): the active ingredient in this herb is called silybin. Silybin has a similar effect that taraxasterol (of dandelion) silybin protects the cells of the liver from the potential harmful effect of the toxins they are exposed to.
Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice roots): has the active ingredient Glycyrrhiza similar to the herbs above the plant protects the liver. In addition licorice is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent, this is important as chronic inflammation of any kind can be detrimental to the body as a whole.
Cruciferous vegetables: such as cauliflower, cabbage, Bok hoy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and similar green leaf vegetable are excellent liver supporters. As mentioned above one of the main role of the liver is to remove harmful substances from our blood stream. To be more specific the liver doesn’t only filter our blood from harmful substances, it converts some of these substances into harmless ones, to be excreted in our urine. In order to convert these substances the liver utilizes a chemical element called sulfur. Cruciferous vegetables are loaded with sulfur.
Caffeine: Last but not list I hesitated before adding this compound to the list, the reason why is yes caffeine has been found to decrease the level of chronic diseases associated with the liver. However, I was scared that people may think OMG this is the perfect opportunity to continue my starbucks addiction, Nope not a chance sis!
First of all, caffein itself is found in various products not just coffee. My personal favorite source of caffein is pure unprocessed cacao powder, (secretly can’t wait for the cacao ceremony I envisioned for our BTOR healing retreat to Africa next year!) yes the cacao is bitter, but remember what I wrote earlier right (insert side eye emoji here***) the bitters are where it is at, plus unprocessed cacao powder is loaded with other amazing minerals like magnesium that are powerful helpers of the female reproductive health. This is the source that I would recommend if you decide to add caffeine to your regiment. P.S: remember thought that it is still a stimulant and can keep you up and awake so avoid it during the times that you want to sleep and limit your doses to one cup a day as to not overstimulate your adrenals.
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